House Passes Two-Week Stopgap Bill to Keep Government Funded

House Conservatives nearly derail tax bill in procedural vote

If Trump and the lawmakers can agree on overall budget limits, one option would be to put that into a second short-term spending bill to keep the government open from December 22 into sometime in January.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) didn't want a short-term funding bill, but he really didn't want the government to shutdown.

Democrats withheld support for the continuing resolution, or "CR", saying the GOP hadn't backed their priorities, so majority Republicans had to prove they could pass the measure on their own.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 235 to 193. The two-week spending bill also makes money available to several states that are running out of funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Without Democrats, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is counting on his rank-and-file - including the House Freedom Caucus - to help keep government's doors open.

Mr. Trump has rescinded the so-called DACA deportation amnesty that was ordered by former President Barack Obama, leaving Congress until March to act, but some Democrats want to deal with it now.

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The Democrats already have their demands ready to go for the next round of negotiations.

"If a shutdown happens as the president seemed to be rooting for earlier in his tweet this year, it will fall on his shoulders", he said on the Senate floor Thursday. Nobody here wants a shutdown.

Recent offers between the two sides have not been that far off, but there still isn't an agreement on the spending levels or what will be included in the eventual deal.

Under a 10-year budget deal struck in 2011, Congress may appropriate a maximum of $549 billion for defense programs and $516 billion for nondefense programs next year. They hope they can force Democrats to agree to higher defense funding without raising spending in other areas. The defense measure, H.R. 3219, would give the Defense Department $584.2 billion in discretionary funding and $73.9 billion in war funding - more than the current $522 billion cap for the Pentagon alone. "We're taking them at their word", House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, said.

Republicans have majorities in both chambers of Congress, but they can not pass spending bills alone. Ryan declined to comment when asked by reporters about the GOP negotiating position.

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